The CBR Region Coast is one of the few places in south east Australia that whales nurse and rest as they migrate to their summer grounds in Antarctica.
Every year, over 30,000 whales undertake a colossal 10,000km migration along the Canberra Region Coast, captivating any and all who encounter them.
They journey across the southern hemisphere, forever migrating between the warm equator to birth their young and the frozen pole to feed.
Playful humpbacks are the most common whales to see from sea and shore. The east coast population is estimated to be 25,000 and growing.
Other whales to visit include Southern Rights, who love to lounge about just behind the waves, and the smaller Minke, Brydes whales. The wolves of the sea, orca, are spotted each year, but like to stay out wide where only the boats go.
The ancient Coastline and unspoilt harbours offer unique opportunities for whales to rest and even feed.
There are many headlands and bays which promise elevated views of the sea. See our top walks for spotting whales, spot whales while you dine at a fine restaurant, or walk the dog along a headland in the heart of town.
At the Eden Killer Whale Museum if you spot a whale staff will sound a siren and let the whole town know! It is for reasons like this that Australian Geographic named Eden the best whale watching destination in Australia. The port is rich with whaling history which you can discover on the Killer Whale Trail. Whales stop their journey here to feed on plankton and pilchards, and it is a spectacular sight to see the inside of a whale’s mouth!
The best way to see whales is on a charter tour and there are passionate operators to choose from at Narooma, Bermagui, Merimbula and Eden. Tours depart daily during the peak of the migration (late August to November) and many offer guaranteed sightings during this time.
For a light house experience, visit Montague Island near Narooma. It is a prime location to watch whales, swim with seals and salute the nightly penguin parade. Book an overnight stay in a light house keeper’s cottage here, or at Green Cape, to really immerse yourself in a unique historical and natural landscape.
If you want to celebrate the migration with the locals, head to the Eden Whale Festival, held each year on the weekend before Melbourne Cup.